By the Editor@EltonJohn.com
The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), in collaboration with Judy Weinstein and Defmix Productions, today announces the establishment of the Frankie Knuckles Fund to support HIV information, testing and treatment.
Following the tragic death of the man known to millions as the ‘Godfather of House’ on March 31st, 2014, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has been chosen to establish a Fund in Knuckles’ memory receiving donations for the charity’s work with men at high risk of HIV in Africa as well as African communities in the UK, and African American communities in the U.S.A.
“Frankie was such a lovely man and a great talent” commented Elton, “and his legacy provides a powerful voice to reach out to people, particularly men of color, about their essential role in helping to create an AIDS-free future.”
Black men remain at very high risk of HIV. They are 40% are more likely than white men to be diagnosed with HIV late. This is particularly dangerous as people who are diagnosed late with HIV are 10 times more likely to die of AIDS. “It is our goal, in Frankie’s name, to make sure they are aware of the risks of HIV and so access information, testing and treatment to protect themselves and others,” commented Anne Aslett, Executive Director of the Elton John AIDS Foundation UK.
Two memorial services are taking place on April 21 in Chicago and April 22 in New York City. A string of tribute events are being organized throughout 2014. Frankie was loved in his native U.S. but his reach captured millions of fans in Europe, Australia, Asia and beyond. It would have meant the world to him to know that this work would be done in his memory.
“Through the creation of this Fund, Frankie Knuckles’ music industry legacy will be transformed into a movement for health and empowerment in the Black community,” said EJAF-US Executive Director Scott Campbell. “In the United States, Black Americans represent only 13% of the population, but account for 46% of people living with HIV. Frankie’s name and image can help us reach into Black communities with urgently needed information and services.”
If you’d like to donate to the Frankie Knuckles Fund for EJAF’s HIV programs serving African communities around the globe, please visit their web page.
To donate to the fund for EJAF’s work with African American communities in the USA, please visit the EJAF-US site.